Cleveland held off a late rally by Lincoln to escape a loser-out game at the Tacoma Dome with a 74-69 win. Mikey Henn scored 21 points for Bellevue in a 66-55 win over Stanwood.
TACOMA — Jerry Petty is aiming to return Cleveland basketball to the glory days of the 1970s. The Eagles won’t make it to the Class 3A state tournament finals like they did three times in that decade, but they did assure themselves of a trophy with a win Friday.
Cleveland held off a late rally by Lincoln, escaping a loser-out game at the Tacoma Dome with a 74-69 win. The Eagles will play Bellevue for fourth place Saturday at 8 a.m. Lincoln’s season ends with the defeat.
“We’re trying to continue a legacy right now from when they hung those banners in (the 1970s),” said Petty, who is in his second year as the Eagles’ head coach. “We’re trying to start a legacy right now. This is for the kids to have some energy, our fans to be in support of us and having fun. Just changing the culture, so it means a whole lot to us.”
Petty, a Garfield High graduate, said he’s trying to instill the culture he learned as a Bulldog. It’s paying off already, as Cleveland (23-7) posted its first winning season since 2007-08.
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The Eagles led 50-35 midway through the third quarter before Lincoln (21-6) came storming back. The Abes eventually made it a one-possession game, 72-69, with 28.4 seconds left on a bucket from Brandon Cotton.
C.J. Elleby answered with an acrobatic layup to push the lead to 74-69. Lincoln had three more opportunities to cut it back to a one-possession game after missed free throws by Cleveland and an offensive rebound, but were unable to finish.
“We wore them down a little bit, but then they made some big shots down the stretch,” Lincoln coach Aubrey Shelton said. “They hit some tough layups … tough pull-up jumpers.”
Davon Bolton led Cleveland with 17 points, while Elleby added 16 and eight rebounds. Cotton scored 21 points for Lincoln.
Bellevue 66, Stanwood 56
The Wolverines (24-3) built leads of as much as 20 points early in the second half, only to have the Spartans (18-8) erase most of the deficit and make it a game down the stretch.
Stanwood switched to a full-court pressure defense that sparked the comeback and the Spartans got it to 58-51 on a Trygve DeBoer three-pointer with 2:54 left. Andrew Kenny righted things for the Wolverines, making two late three-pointers to extend the lead again. The last came less than 30 seconds after DeBoer’s shot — from the deep left corner.
Bellevue broke the press and Cole Cirillo found Kenny with a crisp pass that Kenny caught and rose up to get the lead back to double-digits at 61-51.
“We really needed those to put them away a little bit,” said Kenny, who finished with 16 points and seven rebounds. “They were starting to get close. It felt good.”
Mikey Henn scored 21 points for Bellevue to lead all scorers. Henn also grabbed 10 rebounds and had three blocks. AJ Martinka scored 11 points to pace Stanwood.
Bellevue faces Cleveland in the fourth-place game Saturday at 8 a.m., while Stanwood’s season comes to an end.